Monday, January 11, 2016
I was a fan of " Descent" but now far from the sophomore slump to compare the albums it would make their debut seem more like a series of jams than the more taunt approach to song writing they have taken with this one. The opener is a twisting piece of sinewy prog rock that carries it's well oiled groove tightly. They relax back into the more cerebral "the Widow". Bruce Lamont continues to have a Jim Morrison thing going on and it's given more of a spotlight here. More mood than hooks the emotion poured into the atmosphere is what makes this work. They build into a metallic explosion of agony realized by the pulse of their instruments.
The Doors influence is not only felt by Lamont, but in the guitar work that opens the interlude "Condition" The droning meander of "Broken Teeth" follows with a more spoke word approach to the vocals and throb that reminds me of early Sound Garden . This one is more surreal than the first two songs. Lamont's sax surfaces before the song snarls into it's heavier ending.This album is a rather heady affair, with the more psychedelic interlude "Mind Overlaps" giving you just enough of a breather for the next bong hit to kick in. Many of the sonic parameters this band chooses are closer to sludge than any other sub-genre, there is an oppressive doom like quality to "He is Disease". They shake this when the pace picks up into more of a chug. The herky jerky riff they groove on for the bulk of the song that is coated in noise makes for one of the album's weirdest moments.
They linger their way into "Separation" . The vocals come in with the wildly effected other instruments to create something that is ominous as Tool, but has a shamanistic Jane's Addiction quality to it as well. From that description it might lead you to believe this sounds like I Mother Earth, but it doesn't. It's darker and rawer. The more metal "Suffer" kind of drips out of that song and bare it's more fanged approach. The guitar work is more traditionally metal, but it still throbs as if it's carrying on the groove established in the previous song. I'll give this one an 8.5 and see how it grows on me as some of the looser experimentations don't pack the same punch. But overall this is a step forward.The heavier moments never seemed forced, but a natural part of who they are.